Chibi Chibi is the mysterious character introduced in the Stars Arc of the manga (season 5 of the DiC dub) and she was just so cute. Now you can dive into the rabbit hole like I did but I’m still pretty sure she is Sailor Cosmos but also possibly the future future daughter of Sailor Moon (identical hair buns?).

For this chocolate cake, you keep it simple with the fondant and use Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon’s colors. For her set of iconic odango shields, I took a heart-shaped cookie cutter and cut out two brownie hearts.

TikTok has been loving my Sailor Moon Inspired Cakes. This moist and fluffy, melt in your mouth chocolate cake recipe is wrapped in a creamy, dreamy, and light vanilla buttercream that comes together so easily.

Add some simple fondant techniques, some brownie decorations, yummy vanilla frosting, and you will be able to capture all things Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon in one delicious cake! I break down everything I do in this post so you can bake with confidence right at home. If you’d prefer to just get all that you need and the steps click “JUMP TO RECIPE” above.

Below you’ll find all my tips and tricks for how to bake the perfect chocolate cake, how to work and pipe buttercream, using fondant, piping chocolate, and using luster dust. Everything you need to bake with confidence!



More Nerdy Treats To Love:

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Cake

3D Pokémon Cake: It’s GASTLY!

Harry Potter: The Golden Snitch Cake

Dragon Quest: Slime Monster Cake

3D Pokémon Cake: It’s Diglett!

3D Pokemon Cake: It’s Dugtrio!

Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Ball Cake


Be sure to enter the MANCAKE KitchenAid giveaway.

I have 20 KitchenAid Stand Mixers to giveaway & one of them could be yours!


Latest Recipes


LET’S TALK CHOCOLATE CAKE

TIPS FOR THE PERFECT BAKE

Use Room Temperature Ingredients

Cold ingredients do not mix well with room temperature ingredients. As with any recipe that calls for dairy products, always be sure to take the time to bring ingredients to room temperature because it will result in a lighter, fluffier bake. 

Proper Measurements

Proper measuring of ingredients is key to perfectly baked cakes & cupcakes, especially when you are making them from scratch. Take a moment to kneel down, get face to face with your measuring cup, and measure liquids at eye level in standard liquid measuring cups.

When it comes to dry ingredients, measure by spooning the ingredient into a measuring cup or spoon, then leveling off the top with a knife or straight edge spatula.

Don’t Overmix the Batter

No matter what you will be placing into your oven, over-mixing the batter can lead to over-developing the gluten, which means your cake or cupcakes will come out dense and heavy.

Bake Immediately

Bake your desserts immediately after mixing the batter. Letting batter stand for too long can cause some of the air you’ve beaten in to escape, making for a denser bake.

No Peeking!

While it can be tempting, resist the urge to peek in the oven on your dessert’s progress. Opening or closing the oven door before the baking time is complete can cause fragile air bubbles in the batter to burst, preventing the bakes from rising. Even if you are gentle with the oven door, a rush of cold air can affect the bake while it is trying to set up, resulting in dense, deflated bake. Try to resist the urge to peek until your bakes are at least 2/3 through their baking time.

How to Test if Your Baked Treats are Done

Test your bakes for doneness while they’re still in the oven by inserting a cake tester or wooden toothpick into the center. Your bakes are done when the tester or toothpick comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs clinging to it; you should see no wet batter. You can also gently press down on the bake and, if it bounces back leaving no dent, then it is done. If removed too early, the bake will sink in the center as it cools and, if over baked, it will be dry.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW DO YOU MAKE A SIMPLE VERSION?

  1. Sift and whisk dry ingredients together.
  2. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Add wet to dry mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Bake in prepared pans until centers are springy to the touch.

WHAT MAKES IT MOIST AND FLUFFY?

  • Adding the right amount of fat gives chocolate cake a moist crumb. Using oil, as I did in this recipe lets you chill the cake without having to worry about it hardening. Fluffiness comes from using the right amount of leavening agent; too much and the cake will collapse, too little and it will be dense.
  • Another way to get a moist and fluffy crumb is to cream the butter and sugar coupled with whipping egg whites until they reach the soft peak stage then folding them into the batter.

HOW DO YOU MAKE IT MOIST FROM SCRATCH? 

Use a nice quality cocoa powder, fresh ingredients and remember to balance the sweetness with a bit of salt. Follow the recipe below for the most moist and fluffy chocolate cake imaginable.

Don’t over bake your layers! Watch the batter and remove from oven when the centers spring back when pressed lightly and the edge starts pulling away from the pan.

WHY DO PEOPLE PUT COFFEE IN?

Coffee brings out and amplifies the chocolate flavor in baked goods like cake and cupcakes. Add  ing a little bit will make things taste more “chocolatey” without giving a coffee flavor. Adding a LOT of coffee will create a mocha flavor. If you would like to omit the coffee from this recipe just substitute for warm water or milk. I’ve done this and the cake still tastes great! Just a little toned down in my opinion.

WHAT’S THE BEST FROSTING TO USE?

  • I love a chocolate American buttercream. The cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate along with a nice dose of salt really balances out the sugar and creates a decadent flavor explosion! 
  • If you like things less sweet and maybe a bit more subtle then you should try a meringue-based frosting like Swiss or Italian buttercream. The consistency is VERY light and creamy with not too much sugar.

PRO TIPS FOR MAKING THIS RECIPE

  • To get FLAT layers that are moist inside and out try using cake strips! You can make your own from foil and paper towels at home.
  • The batter is very liquidy so while it will be AMAZINGLY MOIST the cook time will be longer than your average chocolate cake.
  • Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don’t have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.

INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS

  • If you are not a coffee fan then sub in milk, or water. The coffee, which you really don’t taste, helps bring the chocolate taste out but I know lots of people either can’t stand it or have dietary restrictions.
  • If you don’t have sour cream handy then plain whole milk yogurt will work just fine!
  • Buttermilk can be annoying to keep on hand as it expires quickly and most recipes use very little. I often use powdered buttermilk reconstituted with water or add a tablespoon of lemon juice into some whole milk to curdle it.
  • If you don’t like coffee just use water or milk instead. Both will still make a tasty cake

Brownie Baking 101: All The Tips & Tricks


To capture Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon’s heart shaped odango buns, I wanted to whip up a quick batch of chocolate brownies. Now granted, you can always use store bought but if you’d like to make your own, here are all my tips and tricks

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT FLAVOR VARIATIONS CAN I TRY?

Although I absolutely love my brownie recipe just as it is it’s sometimes fun to switch it up with different flavors and textures.

Add nuts – You can add 2 cups of chopped toasted nuts into the brownies for crunch and texture or 1 cup of nuts and 1 cup of chocolate chips, pecans, peanuts, and hazelnuts work really well!

Caramel or toffee – Caramel or toffee pieces adds such a delicious flavor you can chop up store-bought or caramel and fold it into the batter.

Add candies – Candies are always such a fun addition and you can add any you like my favorites are M&Ms.

White chocolate – Simply switch the dark chocolate chips for white chocolate!

Dried fruit – If you love dried fruit in desserts it’s a great option to add into the batter.

Shredded coconut – sweetened shredded coconut is absolutely delicious added to chocolate brownies!

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO SERVE THEM?

I love to serve brownies just as they are with a glass of cold milk but for an extra indulgent treat, they are perfect warmed up slightly and served with ice cream and chocolate sauce!

HOW DO I MAKE MY BROWNIES EXTRA FUDGY?

Add an extra yolk for more creaminess and melt one cup of the chocolate with the butter, which you’ll then use in step one below. You can also slightly undercook your brownies so they’ll be even fudgier.

SHOULD I BLOOM THE COCOA POWDER?

To bloom the cocoa powder add it to the warm melted butter and let it infuse for a few minutes. This really intensifies the chocolate flavor in your brownies but this step is totally optional. If you want to do it, go for it!

CAN I MAKE THESE WITHOUT AN 8×8 INCH PAN?

Sure! You can use a larger pan and have thinner brownies OR you can make a wall inside of your pan with aluminum foil then line it with parchment paper.

HOW LONG DO THEY LAST, CAN THEY BE FROZEN?

Stored in a sealed container your uncut brownies will keep for up to four days in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer. Your cut brownies will last up to two days although they rarely last beyond a day if anyone knows they’re there! 

PRO TIPS FOR MAKING THIS RECIPE

  • Measure and prepare all your ingredients before starting to make the recipe even easier.
  • Make sure to line your baking pan otherwise your brownies will stick to the pan, this is a super important tip!
  • Make sure to sift your ingredients to avoid lumps where possible, cocoa powder can be quite lumpy.
  • If you don’t have an 8×8 inch pan for your brownies just use foil to create one or two walls for a smaller baking dish. Line with parchment and you’ll be good to go!
  • The batter is thick so spread it out to the corners of the baking pan as best you can but it’ll level out in the oven.
  • The coffee really helps to enhance the chocolate flavor, the brownies themselves don’t have a strong coffee flavor but you can skip it if you want.
  • You can add either chopped chocolate or chocolate chips to the top of your brownies but this is totally optional. I’ve made the recipe both ways but found the brownies to be a bit more photogenic without the additional chocolate on top. 
  • Don’t over-bake your brownies. Unlike cake layers, brownies will not have a springy center and a skewer inserted into the center will not come out clean. Your brownies are done when the center is set and you see the top just begin to crack. 
  • The center will continue to bake and set after you remove the brownies from the oven so don’t worry if they seem a bit fudgy. 
  • Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to your brownies will take away from that nice fudge-like texture. The best and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don’t have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off. 

American Buttercream: Sweet & Easy

This is my go to frosting and perfect for people who like it sweet! Beat the room temperature butter with powdered sugar, a pinch of salt and some vanilla extract. Super fast and a total crowd pleaser.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT’S THE BEST BUTTER TO USE?

  • For a whiter buttercream it’s really important to use a pale butter. Almost every recipe will call for using unsalted butter but then have you add salt back in. This is done because various brands of butter have different amounts of salt in their product.
  • Using unsalted butter helps to ensure a consistent result. You can however use salted butter, omit additional salt and have a delicious frosting. 
  • The most important thing to do when whipping up a batch of buttercream is that it’s room temperature!

HOW CAN YOU MAKE COLD BUTTER ROOM TEMPERATURE?

If you need to warm some cold butter up just slice it into some smaller pieces and microwave them on a plate at 50% power for 10 second bursts. Flip them after each burst and they’ll be nice and room temperature in no time!

IS BUTTERCREAM OR WHIPPED FROSTING BETTER?

The main difference between buttercream and whipped frosting is butter. Whipped frosting does not contain butter and is a lighter and fluffier icing. Buttercream contains a good amount of butter and has more of a rich flavor; so you be the judge! 🙂

WILL THIS RECIPE MELT AT ROOM TEMPERATURE?

When buttercream is left out at room temperature, it will form sort of a crust on the outer layer while the inside will stay fairly smooth. If it is very warm or humid, then the buttercream can loose structure. This will affect decorations you’ve piped and may even destabilize layer cakes, causing them to sag or even collapse.

HOW LONG CAN YOU LEAVE IT OUT?

You can leave out buttercream frosting out overnight if covered. If the buttercream contains cream cheese, then it should always be refrigerated for it to remain safe to eat. Buttercream that contains dairy will spoil more quickly so it should be refrigerated after a few hours.

HOW DO I THIN IT OUT?

If you want to thin out buttercream frosting, then you’ll want to add in some extra cream or milk. I recommend mixing in a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

Buttercream Consistencies

This buttercream recipe is for medium consistency, which is excellent for piping decorations like rosettes and dots. However, it will need to be thinned for frosting birthday cakes and borders.

Stiff Consistency: Gradually add additional confectioners’ sugar for a stiffer consistency. Best for dimensional decorations that need to retain their shape when piped. This consistency is generally used for piping upright petals for flowers.

Medium Consistency: Add 1 teaspoon of liquid (light corn syrup, milk or water) for each cup of stiff frosting. For pure white frosting, add up to 2 tablespoons of clear liquid. Medium consistency is used for borders such as stars, dots, rosettes and shells, as well as other decorations that will remain relatively flat.

Thin Consistency: Add 2 teaspoons of liquid (light corn syrup, milk or water) for each cup of buttercream frosting. For pure white frosting, add up to 4 tablespoons of liquid. Thin consistency is best for cake frosting, as well as piping lines and letters. If you are making a buttercream intended for writing, use light corn syrup as your liquid. Writing will flow easily and won’t break.

Piping Tips & Tricks: The Full 101

How to Assemble a Piping Bag and Tip

If you’re planning to use more than one tip on the same bag, you can use a coupler to make it easy to swap out piping tips. Available in standard and large sizes, a coupler comes in two parts. The first part, the base, is inserted into the bag before you fill it with icing. The second part, the ring, is used to secure your tip in place.

If you don’t plan on changing tips, you do not need to use a coupler. Simply drop your tip into the decorating bag and use scissors or a pen to mark a line about ½ way up the tip. Cut the bag at the line, then push the tip down through the opening.

Tips & Tricks for Using Piping Bags and Tips

  • Expand your creativity by using larger piping tips to pipe dough, fillings, mashed potatoes, batter, meringue and more.
  • If your tip becomes blocked, use a toothpick to loosen the lump, then squeeze carefully to remove the block. To prevent lumpy icing, be sure to sift your confectioners’ sugar before mixing.
  • For easy piping, don’t overfill your bag. It’s best to work with about ½ cup of icing at a time. Most Wilton decorating bags have a fill line for easy measuring.
  • Pipe two colors at once by filling two 12 in. decorating bags, separately, with different colors of icing. Cut ½ in. off the end of each bag and drop them both into a larger 16 in. bag, prepared with a large tip (1M or 2A works great for this).

How to Use a Piping Bag

Piping tips are nothing if not paired with a piping bag. Depending on your project, there are a few options to choose from when it comes to finding the right decorating bag.

Disposable Decorating Bags – If you like easy cleanup (who doesn’t), these bags are perfect for decorating. Available in both 12 and 16 in. sizes, these bags work with any decorating tip and coupler. When you’re done, simply remove the tip from the bag and throw the bag away.

Featherweight Decorating Bags – Made of flexible, durable polyester material, these decorating bags can be reused over and over again. Available in a variety of sizes ranging from 8 in. to 18 in., these bags have a grease-resistant coating inside, so icing won’t seep through. They are dishwasher safe and only get better with age!

Parchment Bags – If you’re piping small details or you’re looking for extra control, like piping lettering, you can make your own decorating bag by folding a piece of parchment paper. These bags are best used for small amounts of icing and are disposable for easy cleanup.

Plastic vs. Metal Piping Tips

Most decorating tips are made of metal; however, some are also available in plastic. Plastic tips are great for beginners. They often come in standard sizes and are more durable than metal tips. They’re also cheaper and will last a long time if taken care of correctly.

Metal tips cost a little more than plastic ones, but often give your decorations a sharper, more defined shape. While these tips are durable, they are a bit more fragile than plastic tips, so take care to wash and store them properly.

How to Wash Piping Tips

Wilton piping tips are stainless steel and dishwasher safe (on the top rack). After use, wash your tips in warm, soapy water, then rinse and allow to dry completely before storing.

You can also use a tip brush to get into those little nooks and crevasses of your tips, especially good for cleaning star and drop-flower tips!

When you’re ready to store them, it’s best to store tips with the narrow end up. Use a tip organizer case for easy storage and organization.

Specialty Decorating Tips

These tips are in a class of their own because each one does a something different. This catch-all category includes the grass, the triple star, the basketweave, the Bismarck and the cake icing tip, just to name a few!

The grass tip is one of the most popular in this category and can be used to pipe grass and fur.

The basketweave tip, which has both a flat and serrated side, is great for adding texture to the sides of your cake.

This category is also home to the Bismarck tip, used to fill pastries and cupcakes, as well as the large cake icing tip, which makes it quick and easy to ice your cake with a smooth or textured finish.

Easy Blooms Tips are a fun addition to this category. Designed to pipe a lovely rose or mum with just one squeeze, these tips are great for quick and easy decorating!

Types of Piping Tips

Piping tips are classified by the shape the opening makes. Within those groups, tips range in size and shape, so you can choose the size that best suits your decorating project.

Round Decorating Tips

Round tips are a great place to get started. These tips all feature a round opening, making them perfect for piping letters and lines. The smaller sizes are often used for piping lettering, dots or outlining cookies, while the larger sizes can be used to pipe large dot borders, swirls and lines.

Star Decorating Tips

The star tip is very versatile, making it great for beginning decorators. A simple squeeze of the bag and any sized star tip will produce a cute star-shaped design, perfect for making borders or filling in large areas of your cake.

Star tips are also used to pipe shells, swirls and rosettes, simple techniques with a big impact!

Drop Flower Decorating Tips

The drop flower tip looks like a star tip, but the grooves are slightly closed, making it easier to pipe a flower shape. These tips allow you to pipe a flower with just one squeeze, or you can make a swirled flower by simply twisting your wrist as you pipe.

Leaf Decorating Tips

Pipe flat, ruffled or stand-up leaves to make your flowers more life-like. You can also use these tips to pipe sunflower petals or a leaf border in different shapes and sizes.

Petal Decorating Tip

As the name suggests, this tip is used to pipe buttercream flowers, such as roses and tulips. However, this tip can also be used to pipe lovely ribbons, ruffles and simpler three or five-petal flowers, such as an apple blossom.

Fondant Tips & Tricks

Fondant is a fun and versatile medium for covering and decorating cakes; however, it can be tricky to work with. Weather, temperature and environment can all affect the texture and performance of your homemade fondant. You can avoid these problems before they start with these helpful fondant tips and tricks!

From how to color fondant to the best ways to store it, these tips for working with fondant are great to keep in mind before starting your next project.

How to Work with Fondant

  1. Dust your work station with powdered sugar, cornstarch, or vegetable shortening
    Fondant can be sticky and has a tendency to pick up crumbs and dirt, so make sure your work surface is nice and clean before you start rolling. Prevent fondant from sticking to your counter by lightly dust your work surface and fondant roller with confectioners’ sugar or cornstarch. You can also use solid vegetable shortening to prevent sticking if you live in a very dry climate or if your fondant is already a little dry.
  2. Coat clean hands in vegetable shortening or wear food-safe gloves
    Before rolling, take some time to knead your fondant until it’s soft and pliable. Make sure you wash your hands before you start so nothing sticks to the fondant. You can also coat your hands with a thin layer of solid vegetable shortening or wear food-safe gloves.
  3. Keep fondant moving
    It’s also important to keep the fondant moving as you work. Never flip it over after you start to roll. Just turn it about a quarter of the way to prevent sticking and help ensure the thickness of your fondant is even.

How to Work with Fondant

As you roll and mold fondant, you might find that it tends to crack, especially on edges and corners. If you notice that your fondant is cracking, rub some solid vegetable shortening over the crack in a circular motion to smooth the cracked area together. We suggest not using water to do this, as too much liquid can break down your fondant.

How to Decorate with Fondant

You can use fondant to cover a cake, make little figurines or cut out decorations for cakes, cupcakes and cookies. For assembling figurines and fondant decorations, you can use water or buttercream frosting to adhere pieces together. Fondant will also start to dry as it sits out. If you need your fondant decorations or figurines to be hard, make them at least two days ahead of time and let them sit at room temperature to dry.

How to Soften Fondant

Soften fondant that’s too hard to knead using about 1/8 teaspoon of water for every 24 ounces of fondant. If your fondant is too soft, add a small amount of confectioners’ sugar or Gum-Tex powder to help strengthen it. Soft fondant is usually caused by kneading too much or adding too much liquid.

How to Color Fondant

There are a couple ways to color your fondant. The most common way is to use gel food coloring or Color Right concentrated food coloring. Both of these options offer concentrated color, so you only need a little to add rich color to your fondant. Liquid-based food colorings can change the consistency of your fondant, so we suggest avoiding those.

The great thing about Color Right concentrated food coloring is that you can simply squeeze the color directly onto your fondant without any mess. If you’re using gel icing colors, use a toothpick to add the color to your fondant. Make sure to wear food-safe gloves to mix in the color so it doesn’t stain your hands.

You can also mix more than one color of fondant together to get a whole rainbow of shades! Add a small amount of dark teal fondant to white fondant to get a lighter teal, or combine red and blue fondant for purple. This is a great way to use up any leftover fondant you may have from another project, so don’t throw your scraps away!

For super rich colors, like black or red, you may need to add quite a bit of color to get the shade you need. This might affect the consistency of your fondant. For those instances, we suggest buying pre-colored Decorator Preferred fondant, which comes in a variety of shades.

How to Cover a Cake with Fondant

To get a nice, clean finish to your fondant cake, make sure you frost your cake smooth with a thin layer of buttercream frosting before covering it with fondant. This will prevent any imperfections on your cake from poking through the fondant.

If you’re using a lighter shade of fondant, frost your cake with white buttercream. Using white buttercream is a good rule all around unless you’re using black fondant, in which case chocolate frosting works just as well.

Use a rolling pin to help drape the fondant over your cake. Once draped, work quickly to smooth out the fondant using a Fondant Smoother for the top and your hand to smooth out the sides.

Any excess fondant on the base of your cake should be cut off with a knife.

How to Store Fondant

Sadly, fondant does not keep as well as other icings. Once pre-made fondant has been opened, the best way to store it is to cover it with a thin layer of shortening, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in an airtight container.

This may seem like overdoing it, but in my experience, this has worked the best. Store it at room temperature.

There’s no exact timeline for how long it will last, as it depends on the environment and conditions it’s stored in.

Fondant will start to get a crusty layer on top (the shortening helps resist this) the longer it sits. When it starts to crust, the fondant is no longer workable.

Helpful Kitchen Tools


Be sure to grab the full recipe & check out the full video tutorial in the recipe card below. And if you try this recipe (I mean you totally should be), tag me on Instagram @imancake and use the hashtag #BakingWithMANCAKE.

If you’ve tried this tasty treat then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

Everything You Need To Bake Your Own Cake Right At Home

From baking to decorating, here is everything I personally use to bake all my cakes. For this specific recipe, you may find you’ll need some additional tools, I’ve posted those separately right below as well.

Stand mixers may be all the rage and I use my mine quite a bit but what I really use the most is my hand mixer. Hand mixers are less expensive and they accomplish just as much. I use mine for everything from mixing cake batter and cookie dough, to whipping cream and beating egg whites for meringues. For a quasi-control freak like myself, it’s extremely satisfying to see ingredients come together. If your making a small cake, try a hand mixer rather than a stationary one.

While you can certainly mix ingredients by hand for some recipes, there comes a point when that just won’t be good enough. Many cake recipes require you to ‘cream butter and sugar’ which definitely requires more power than mixing by hand will provide. And besides, who wants to stand around stirring all day- we have cake to eat! A good stand mixer will have whisk, paddle, and dough hook attachments and this one comes with a pouring shield which means less mess to clean up.

While we are on the topic of sets of kitchen tools, don’t forget about mixing bowls! Having a small, medium and large mixing bowl is very important and something you will use with almost every cake recipe.

Nothing beats spatulas, especially if they are well-made and heavy duty. I own plenty, but my favorite and most-used are these spatulas. From stirring and mixing, to scraping the sides of bowls, spreading frosting, cooking, etc. I use them for everything, everyday.

You could probably fill your kitchen with a wide variety of cake pans. They are of course, very important to baking any cake. But you really don’t need to have the fanciest pans. I have a variety of sizes and shapes but I use a 6 inch round, 3 inch high the most.

A cake pan that has at least a two inch high side is preferable- anything skinnier will not hold much cake batter and anything taller just takes up too much space in the kitchen.

Judging a cake’s doneness isn’t all about visual cues. Many of these indicators, like the level of browning and the way the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, will vary depending on the type of cake you bake. But there’s one cue that remains consistent across all varieties: using a cake tester or toothpick to check the crumb. These two simple tools, which can be used interchangeably, help you easily check if your cake is done.

When it comes to levelling cakes, you should use the sharpest serrated knife you can find. People tend to use a cake leveler as it allows you to cut precisely across, but they can be flimsy. Simply score around the cake with a serrated knife, then cut across with the ease.

Level your cakes on the quick with an adjustable height cake leveler. The adjustable blade lets you level off your cake layer to the height you need and makes stacking so easy.

Once you are at the decorating stage in cake making, you are definitely going to want a turn table. Having your cake raised when you are decorating is a huge plus.

Once you begin to ice the cake, the ability to spin it while applying the icing will ensure that the frosting is even and straight

Stock up on pastry bags. Either reusable or disposable will do but keep in mind that even the reusable bags will get old and sometimes moldy after a few washes. Pastry bags are an ongoing purchase but very important to cake decorating for sure.

This is a great starter set for beginning decorators. to help decorate cupcakes, cookies, cakes and more. With three sizes of round tips, you can write, make multi-sized dots and pipe lines in fine, medium and large. Use the two star tips to make stars, shells, zigzags and more. Pipe flowers with the drop flower tip and add leaves using leaf tip. Make individual petals, roses, ruffles and more with petal tip. Plus, all of the tips store away easily in the storage case.

A metal spatula, particularly an offset spatula, is such a handy tool when it comes to making cakes. While a butter knife can also get the job done, the longer length and extra width of an offset spatula allow it to spread frosting smoothly and evenly over a cake. The blunt edges also make it helpful in removing delicate cakes, like chiffon and angel food cakes, from pans.

Straight spatulas are essential when it comes to cake decorating as they allow you to smoothly spread icing across the cake surface. Larger straight spatulas are perfect for get frosting on larger and tall cakes as their wide metal edge helps cover more surface area.

Tall buttercream cakes are becoming more popular, but it can sometimes be difficult to get the icing smooth all the way up the cake due to the height. If your small step palette knife fails to reach the top of a tall cake, this metal icing smoother will do the trick. Its straight, firm metal edge creates effortlessly smooth buttercream in one swoop.

Moving your cake around shouldn’t have to be nerve-racking! Move your cakes from the cooling rack without worry of breakage when you use this handy cake lifter. The comfort grip and sturdy, wide angled surface lets you lift not only cakes, but cookies, brownies, pies, and more easily. You can also use it to clean up cake crumbs or to remove cheesecake from a springform pan bottom, too.

Although measuring cups and spoons may seem insignificant to some, they are a necessity to us bakers. The majority of my recipes require you to measure the ingredients in cups and spoons. To get the perfect balance of ingredients for your desserts, you’ll need proper measuring tools. For this reason, owning a set of variety-sized measuring cups and spoons is ideal.

A kitchen scale is one item that not many people use frequently, I think it’s an essential tool for baking like a pro. A food scale is a must-have in any kitchen, but it’s especially crucial when it comes to baking. Weighing ingredients has become the gold standard in my kitchen and it’s especially useful for something like pie dough that’s notoriously finicky. Volume measurements can have different weights so it becomes important to weigh certain ingredients for precise results.

Ever wonder how the pros bake moist, level cakes with no crowns, cracks or crusty edges? They use bake even strips. These fabric bands insulate the sides of your cake pan so that your batter cooks evenly. After fitting to your pan, soak strips in cold water, remove excess, wrap around pan and cinch to tighten. You’ll never have to level a cake again.

This handy trio of measuring cups ensures you’ll always have the right size on hand. Each has easy-to-read measurement markings in red for at-a-glance precision, easy-grip handles, and spouts designed for controlled pouring. And because they’re made of durable glass, you can melt ingredients like butter or chocolate right in the cup – and then pop it in the dishwasher for easy cleanup. This set includes: (1) 1-cup Measuring Cup, (1) 2-cup Measuring Cup and (1) 4-cup Measuring Cup.

Even if you are lucky enough to have a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, you will still want to buy at least one nice whisk to have in your kitchen cake making collection. From whipping eggs to fluffing four, a whisk is a tool you will find yourself reaching for again and again.

Do we really  have to sift the flour when baking?  No, and yes. Sifting is meant to aerate flour before it’s incorporated into a dough or batter.

Be honest about your flour. Is your flour sitting in the paper sack you bought it in and hiding in the back of your cupboard with a discarded bag of brown sugar sitting on top of it? If you’re like me, the answer is yes.

This is an essential tool for cooling cake, and it may prove handy to have a few if you plan to bake a layer cake. When cooling both in and out of the pan, these open racks allow for steady air flow.

What You’ll Need For Decorating

Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon

Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

For Chocolate Cake

  • 1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 cup fresh brewed hot coffee
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 & 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream at room temperature
  • Yellow Food Gel Color
  • Red Food Gel Color
  • Pink Food Gel Color

For Decorating

  • Blue Fondant
  • Red Fondant
  • Yellow Fondant
  • Pink Fondant
  • 2 standard sized plain brownies
  • 2 lollipop sticks

Tools

  • X-Acto Knife
  • Piping Bags
  • Artist Paint Brush
  • Nesting heart shape cookie cutter set

Instructions

For Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven to 350F and prep cake pans.

  1. Sift together the dry ingredients (including the sugar) into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine.
  2. Add the wet ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together.
  3. Add the wet ingredients the dry ingredients.
  4. Whisk to combine then mix on low for about a minute.
  5. Distribute batter evenly cake pans and bake for about 35-40 minutes at 350F or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow time to cool for 10 minutes then invert onto wire racks to cool fully.

Vanilla Buttercream

Feel free to adjust the buttercream frosting ingredients if you'd like to make more buttercream. I doubled my recipe when making this cake. Any extra can easily be stored.

  1. Cream butter & shortening.
  2. Blend in vanilla extract.
  3. Scrape down the sides.
  4. Place your mixer on the lowest speed & slowly add in your powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
  5. Do not worry if your buttercream looks crumbly & dry because we will fix that next.
  6. Scrape down the sides one last time.
  7. With your mixer on a medium high speed, slowly add in heavy cream.
  8. Turn mixer up to a high speed and whip your buttercream until you have light & fluffy consistency you are looking for.
  9. Transfer about 1/2 cup of buttercream to a bowl and mix in 3-4 drops of “Super Red” food gel color. Mix until color has been fully combined.
  10. Transfer about ¼ cup of buttercream into a separate bowl and mix in 1-2 drops of yellow food gel color. Mix until color has been fully combined.
  11. Transfer about 1/8 cup of buttercream into a separate bowl and mix in 1-2 drops of pink food gel color. Mix until color has been fully combined.

Cake Assembly

  1. After your cakes have cooled, level your cakes. If you'd like to make this a 4-layer cake, half each cake.
  2. Place your first layer onto your cake turntable.
  3. Spread a generous amount of vanilla buttercream frosting on top and spread evenly with your straight or offset spatula.
  4. Place your next layer of cake, top with more buttercream frosting and spread evenly. Continue these steps for all of your lays.
  5. Once your cakes have been filled and stacked, you’re ready to add buttercream frosting around your cake.
  6. Start from the bottom, and while rotating your cake turntable, pipe on your buttercream in an upward motion.
  7. Using a cake frosting scraper, straight spatula, or offset spatula you will want to smooth over your buttercream. The best way is to hold your smoothing tool upright and gently pressed against your cake while rotating your cake turntable.
  8. You'll want to continue this until you have a smooth coating. When you’re doing the final smoothing and you notice the texture of the buttercream become a bit ragged there’s an easy fix! Get a bowl of HOT water and dip your tools into the bowl to warm them up. pat dry and smooth. The warm metal will melt the buttercream and give you a nice SMOOTH finish.
  9. Smooth the top of your cake with an offset spatula.
  10. Set in the fridge and allow to chill for 5 minutes.

Odango Shields Decorations

For Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon’s odango shields, we are going to be using two standard sized brownies. You can use my one bowl brownie recipe or use store bought.

  1. Using a 2.76 inch heart shaped cookie cutter, cut your brownie squares into hearts.
  2. Frost both brownies with red buttercream frosting so that you are left with two big red hearts.
  3. Take yellow buttercream and pipe, about 1 inch inward, a medium sized yellow heart.
  4. Within your yellow heart you’ll want to pipe a slightly smaller pink heart. Only keep about ¼ inch of the medium yellow buttercream heart visible.
  5. Repeat the above steps with your next heart shaped brownie.
  6. Slowly push a lollipop stick into each brownie about 1 inch through. Set brownies aside.

Fondant Bow & Red Fondant Border

  1. Roll out your red fondant to about a 1 inch thickness.
  2. Cut out 4 bow pieces using my template in this blog post. You’ll need two back pieces and two front pieces.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Next, cut out a 3 inch wide by ½ inch tall strip. Set aside.
  5. Gather up your red fondant and re-roll. Your red fondant should be rolled out to about a 1/2 inch thickness and rolled out length wise. The goal here is to have a 19 inch stretch of fondant. You can go as short as 16 inches and slightly pull as you wrap your cake, but this may cause the fondant to tear.
  6. Using a fondant cutter, cut out a 19 inch fondant strip about ¼ - ½ inch tall. This will be your bottom-middle fondant border. Set aside.
  7. Re-roll your red fondant and cut out a 3 inch long red fondant strip about a ¼ wide.

Yellow Fondant Border

  1. Being to roll out your yellow fondant. Your yellow fondant should be rolled out to about a 1/2 inch thickness and rolled out length wise. Just like with our red fondant border, the goal here is to have a 19 inch stretch of fondant. You can go as short as 16 inches and slightly pull as you wrap your cake, but this may cause the fondant to tear.
  2. Using a fondant cutter, cut out a 19 inch fondant strip about ¼ - ½ inch tall. This will be your bottom-top fondant border. Set aside.

Pink Fondant Heart Brooch

  1. Begin to roll your pink fondant to about a half inch thickness. I prefer to roll out my fondant on a silicone mat ever so lightly dusted with powdered sugar.
  2. If you have a nesting heart cookie cutter set, you want to grab a 2.36 inch, or equivalent, cutter. Use this to punch out a pink fondant heart. If you don’t have a nesting cookie cutter set, you want to cut out about a 2 & ½ inch tall pink fondant heart. Smooth out the edges with your fingers and set aside.
  3. Before cleaning up your pink fondant, cut out a small pink fondant heart. Smooth the edges with your fingers and set aside.

Cake Decorating

  1. Begin to roll out your blue fondant. I prefer to roll out my fondant on a silicone mat ever so lightly dusted with powdered sugar.
  2. Your blue fondant should be rolled out to about a 1/2 inch thickness and rolled out length wise. The goal here is to have a 19 inch stretch of fondant. You can go as short as 16 inches and slightly pull as you wrap your cake, but this may cause the fondant to tear.
  3. Using a fondant cutter, cut out a 19 inch fondant strip about ¼ - ½ inch tall. This will be your bottom most fondant border.
  4. You should not have to re-roll your fondant for the top fondant border but you’re more than welcomed to. Just roll out length wise.
  5. Once rolled out, cut a 15 inch fondant strip about 1 to 1.5 inch tall. This will be your top fondant border.
  6. Lightly brush the back of your first fondant border with water. If you add too much water, you can pat away with a paper towel.
  7. Gently pick up your blue fondant and with the brushed water side facing the cake, gently wrap the bottom of your cake and bring both ends together in the back. Cut off any excess and secure the bottom fondant border.
  8. Now let's talk fondant seams. Seams, like tears and cracks, can be repaired by filling them in with a fresh piece of fondant. Smooth edges with your fingertips coated in shortening. Seams can also be smoothed out with an icing smoother or your fingertips. Do not wet your fingers with water, as this will cause the fondant to melt and tear further.
  9. Above this blue fondant border, we are going to place our red fondant border by following the same process in steps 6 through 9
  10. Lastly, above the red fondant border, we are going to place our yellow fondant border by following the same process in steps 6 through 9.
  11. Take your small red fondant strip and lightly brush with water on the back and place on the top front of your cake where you plan on placing your pink heart brooch.
  12. For your top blue fondant border, we want to trim the edges. Using your fondant cutter, cut from one side of the fondant strip to the other at a 45 degree angle. One quick swipe of your cutter is best as going slowly increases the likelihood of crooked line.
  13. Lightly brush the back of your top fondant border with water. Again, if you add too much water, simply pat away with a paper towel.
  14. Gently pick up your top blue fondant border and with the brushed water side facing the cake, gently wrap the top of your cake from the back to the front so that the points of both ends meet in the middle. This should leave you with an inverted triangle like peek-a-boo shape while securing your red fondant strip in place.
  15. Take your small pink fondant heart, ever so lightly brushed with water on the back and gently press in the middle of your red fondant strip. The heart should line up with the middle of your strip.
  16. Now let’s being to assemble our bow on the cake. Start by lightly brushing water on the back of both back pieces.
  17. Gently pick up and lightly press into your cake so that the points are lined up in the middle and centered with your small pink fondant heart.
  18. Lightly brush water on the back of both front pieces.
  19. Gently press on top, and slightly above, your two back pieces. Again, use the points on the front pieces to center and line up your red fondant bow.
  20. Wrap up your bow by placing your pink fondant heart brooch right on top and in the middle of your bow.
  21. Use a large star tip to pipe dollops of red buttercream on top of your cake.
  22. Gently press your brownie lollipops into the top of your cake with enough space in-between so there is not too much crowding. I placed mine about a ½ inch in from the top perimeter of the cake.

Notes

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Be sure to allow your dairy ingredients to reach room temperature. Room temperature ingredients not only combine more effortlessly (no over-mixing needed) but they also trap air so much better. This trap air will expand and produce a fluffy texture during your baking process.
  • Prepared Pan: There will always be the "next best way to prepare your pan" article. Simply put however, the most effective way i find in my kitchen is a light rub of shortening around the sides, parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, & a very light dusting of flour (cocoa powder for chocolate baked goods) all throughout.
  • You can use this buttercream right away or place it in an airtight container in your fridge until ready to use. Just be sure to whip before using.
  • If you’d prefer to skip the shortening, simply swap it out with 1 additional stick of room temperature butter.
  • If you’d prefer a more white, stiffer, buttercream then simply omit the butter & replace with 1 additional cup of shortening. Also be sure to swap out the vanilla extract for clear vanilla extract.
  • Make sure you sift your powdered sugar. This will help the sugar mix into the butter & shortening smoothly.
  • When all your powdered sugar has been added in, the buttercream will appear dry. Don’t raise the alarms. When adding in your milk or heavy cream, your buttercream will start to have the fluffy texture it‘s known for.
  • Keep in mind that your heavy cream should be added in 1 tablespoon at a time. I do this way to make sure I am not drowning my buttercream to the point of a soupy mess.
  • Also worth mentioning, if desired, you can easily swap out the heavy cream for equal parts of your preferred milk such as whole milk or buttermilk.
  • What Are You Making For Dessert?

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